FasterSkier Podcast: Musings on New FIS Format, Doping Bans, and More

FasterSkierNovember 5, 20103

Today, we bring you the second edition of the FasterSkier podcast with Nat Herz, Topher Sabot, and Colin Reuter and Christopher Tassava, the two founders and editors of the blogĀ Nordic Commentary Project.

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  • nexer

    November 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Speaking of false positives, the actual probability that a doping test is accurate is the number of true positives divided by the number of true positives plus false positives. If a test is 99.9% accurate and 1% of the athletes are actually doping then the actual probability of a true positive is only slightly less than 91%.

  • davord

    November 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    While you guys have some interesting points, I am not sure you remember the situation with Muehlegg and Botvinov in the mid to late 90s. Both of those guys left because they were at odds with their respective federations and wanted a change. They only raced worldloppet races because those were the only ones they could do, while waiting for their citizenship. I guess Babikov would fall in the same category of changing countries, but his case was more of trying to make a team with another country because he couldn’t do it in Russia, and I think for Colin to suggest doping in any shape and form as the reason for that, is not accurate. Perhaps I didn’t interpert correctly what he meant or said, but that is what I undertood. Colin also commented on ‘who’s in charge,’ and it was good on Nat to mention that they actually fired a pretty decent number of coaches or directors literally a day after the world cup finals. If you go over to the Russian websites or, you’ll see that they are/were seriously looking into hiring Albarello or Braaten as the new head coach. Dementiev’s case is interesting, as he did not contest anything, didn’t appeal and retired pretty soon after that. He pretty much blamed it on himself and that was that, as far as I know, but who really knows 100% of what goes on behind the scenes. What I am sure is that you can’t really trust anyone fully these days.

    Another interesting and thought provoking topic was the doping bans. I agree with the lifetime bans, it’s either all or nothing, but as you guys mentioned, mistakes in testing and wrongfully accusing someone or a particular group or team can be pretty controversial. Tchepalova was busted last year, and her being 33 (last year) she has no chance of coming back, so I think that’s pretty much the end, as Christopher mentioned.

    Doping has been at the forefront of sporting events for years now, but what I find interesting, if not troubling, is that if for example a Spanish cyclist or a Russian skier get caught for doping, a vast majority of the people in their respective countries support him or her and it makes it seem quite appropriate to do so. One of the few countries that actually scorns their own heroes is Germany. Right after Jan Ullrich was implicated in the 2006 OP affair, he was mocked and ridiculed like you wouldn’t believe. After another German cyclist was found cheating during the 2007 Tour, German television stopped broadcasting the race altogether!

  • sailguy

    November 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I don’t think Ivan Babikov fits in with the other country changers, as he changed countries for non-skiing reasons.

    He retired from skiing and moved to Canada in 2003. He then restarted skiing, but lost his eligibility for Canadian citizenship because he repeated left the country (to ski in races in the US, mostly). Despite Canada granting instant citizenship to various bobsledders a month before various Olympics, Canada apparently didn’t want Ivan as a citizen. A skiing supporter in Calgary bought Ivan a plane ticket to the Russian Olympic trials for 2006 and he skied for them in Torino as a result.

    In 2007, the Canadian government decided that four years of delays was enough, and granted Ivan and his family Canadian citizenship. In 2009, the FIS country change wait was over and Ivan finally competed as a Canadian.

    Ivan first wore Canadian colours at the Sovereign and Canmore world cups in December 2005, after CCC named him to the national team, anticipating that his long delayed citizenship would come through in time for Torino. He had to borrow a team suit, as CCC was unable to provide one.

    I enjoyed the podcast, though; keep them coming.

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